Dr Andrew Armitage

Department:Genetics, Genomics & Breeding
Tel:+44 (0)1732 843833
DD:+44 (0)1732 523734
Fax:+44 (0)1732 849067

Research Interests

I have a PhD in population genetics titled, ‘Alternaria leafspot pathogens: genetics, evolutionary history and diagnostics’ (University of Warwick). I hold an MRes in Biology and BSc in Ecology (Cardiff University).

My work focusses on genomics of perennial fruit species and their pathogens and pests, investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in host resistance to pathogens and pests.

I am currently working on the IDRIS (Improving disease resistance in strawberry) project as a bioinformatician. This project focuses on identifying effectors in plant pathogens and corresponding resistance genes in plant hosts. The outcomes of this work will: (a) Provide lists of genes associated with resistance to strawberry pathogens, which can be taken forward to breeding programs, and (b) generate web-based bioinformatic resources that can be used by the wider community. My role involves handling whole genome sequence data for the pathogens Phytophthora cactorum and P. fragariae, and sequence data from their strawberry hosts. I am also creating and running pipelines to perform genome assembly, gene prediction and effector identification.

My core research interest is the evolution of pathogenicity in plant pathogens and before joining the Harrison Lab I performed my PhD characterising the Alternaria alternata species group. This group of fungal pathogens is responsible for significant leaf spot diseases of fruit crops outside of the UK. As such I have experience in genome sequencing, phylogenetics, morphological analysis, investigating recombination and pathogenicity testing. 

Poster: Comparative genomics to explore host specificity in Pseudomonas syringae

Poster: Conserved putative effectors across four Verticillium dahliae strains isolated from strawberry (Fragaria ananassa)



Selected Publications

  • Wilson F, Harrison K, Armitage AD, Simkin, AJ, Harrison RJ. (2019). CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis of phytoene desaturase in diploid and octoploid Strawberry. BMC Plant Methods. 15:45. (IF=4.2).
  • Armitage A.D., Taylor A, Hulin M.T, Jackson A.C, Harrison R.J., Clarkson J.P. (2019). Draft Genome Sequence of an Onion Basal Rot Isolate of Fusarium proliferatum. Microbiol Resour Announc 8 (1),. e01385-18.
  • Hulin MT, Armitage AD, Vicente JG, Holub EB, Baxter L, Bates HJ, Mansfield JW, Jackson RW, Harrison RJ. (2018). Comparative genomics of Pseudomonas syringae reveals convergent gene gain and loss associated with specialization onto cherry (Prunus avium). New Phytologist, doi: 10.1111/nph.15182.
  • Fan, R., Cockerton, H.M., Armitage, A.D., Bate, H., Cascant-Lopez, E., Antanaviciute, L.. (2018). Vegetative compatibility groups partition variation in the virulence of Verticillium dahlia on strawberry. PLoS One. 13(2), e0191824.
  • Andrew D Armitage, Andrew Taylor, Maria K Sobczyk, Laura Baxter, Bethany P.J. Greenfield, Helen Bates, Fiona Wilson, Alison Jackson, Sascha Ott, Richard Harrison, John P. Clarkson. (2018). Pangenomic analysis reveals pathogen-specific regions and novel effector candidates in Fusarium oxysporum f.sp.cepae. (preprint) BioRxiv. doi: https//doi.org/10.1101/182238.
  • Armitage A.D., Lysoe E., NELLIST C.F., Lewis L.A., Cano L.M., Harrison R.J. and Brurberg M.B. (2018). Bioinformatic characterisation of the effector repertoire of the strawberry pathogen Phytophthora cactorum PLOS ONE, 13(10). e0202305. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202305.
  • Armitage AD, Barbara DJ, Harrison RJ, Lane CR, Sreenivasaprasad S, Woodhall JW,Clarkson JP. (2015). Discrete lineages within Alternaria alternata species group: Identification using new highly variable loci and support from morphological characters.  Fungal Biol. 2015 Nov;119(11):. 994-1006.
  • Gomez A, Harrison R.J and Armitage A . (2015). Draft genome of a European isolate of the apple canker pathogen Neonectria ditissima Genome Announcements Nov 19;3(6). . pii: e01243-15.